Knipex UK marketing manager, David Barnes looks at the latest trends in hand tools for installers.
Manufacturers, such as Knipex, are moving towards more compact tools with multiple features, and that’s reflected in our new products for 2020. Take the Cobra XS, for example, the smallest water pump pliers in the world with full functional capability, measuring just 100mm long. The tool can adapt to eleven adjustment positions and grip nuts up to 24mm in width.
In 2020, we launched a selection of tools that have features designed to save time, effort and cost for professionals. The TubiX pipe cutter makes it easy to cut pipes up to 35mm in diameter and with a wall thickness of 2mm accurately – with just one hand thanks to the QuickLock quick adjustment guide. It locks the tool onto the pipe, then accurately positions the cutting wheel for different pipe diameters. After you have cut the pipe, an integrated, retractable deburring tool can be used to smooth out the cut surface. The cutting wheel is made of quality ball-bearing steel and can be exchanged quickly with a spare wheel, which is also located in the feeding barrel.
Hand tools are also being adapted for use on chrome and other sensitive surfaces too. For instance, the new 300mm Pliers Wrench can now grip width across flats up to a diameter of 68mm (2 1/2″) thanks to two additional adjustment positions. It rounds off the range of six pliers wrenches (125, 150, 180, 250, 300 and 400mm). For especially sensitive surfaces, Knipex now offers plastic jaw covers as accessories for the 180, 250, and 300mm variants. The protective jaws are easily attached by hand and snap into place to suit the geometry of the pliers’ jaws so that they do not slip during work.
Hand tools are also extremely powerful, thanks to their design. For instance, the 160mm CoBolt S has a 25-fold amplification of manual force. It is now available with a recess on the cutting edge, so the popular compact bolt cutter can cut through round materials even more effectively. Bolts, rivets and nails with a diameter up to 4.4mm and particularly tough materials such as piano wire and spring steel with a diameter up to 3.3mm can now be cut in a single movement thanks to the recess located close to the joint. The enhanced leverage effect close to the pivot point makes cutting larger cross-sections easier.
Cable strippers are also being designed with more features, yet at the same time they are becoming more user friendly. The PreciStrip16, for instance, quickly and precisely strips fine, flexible and solid cables, holding all materials tightly and firmly in its semi-circular grooved holding clamps. The pliers have a wide capacity range (which is easily adjusted) from 0.08 to 16mm2. The cable cutter on top of the PreciStrip16 reliably cuts flexible cables up to 16mm and solid conductors up to 6mm. Parabolic stripping blades separate insulation from both extremely fine-stranded and solid round cables, then automatically strip the insulation off backwards.
You can expect a perfect, secure grip and an exact cut every time with the PreciStrip16. It has an adjustable length stop, so accuracy is guaranteed time
after time, even on repetitive jobs. When needed, the blade cassette can be easily replaced. The tool makes cable stripping easy as it has an ergonomic handle that is comfortable to use all day long. And it’s not easy to lose either! It comes with a description label that can be personalised, meaning no more mix-ups and no more lost tools.
For further information on Knipex go to www.knipex.com/en/home/